We couldn’t let another winter go by without discovering a new, inspiring and perfectly coined word from our Nordic friends. Move over “hygge”, there’s a new word in town and this time it is from Iceland. “Jolabokaflod” translates loosely as “Christmas Book Flood” and refers to the Icelandic tradition of gifting books at Christmas-time. The tradition started during World War II, when paper was one of the few things not rationed at the time so books quickly became the Christmas gift of choice for many Icelanders. Gifts would be exchanged on Christmas Eve and the evening would be spent reading cosily in the company of friends and family. The tradition lives on to this day and has turned Iceland into a nation of book-lovers.
If you would like to give someone the gift of escapism, quiet and contemplation that a good book can provide, we have put together a list of our top picks for you this holiday season. From all of us at Piglet in Bed, we wish you a very Happy Jolabokaflod.
Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper.
Madeline Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Women's Prize for Fiction, was shortlisted for the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2012 and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Miller holds an MA in Classics from Brown University, and has taught Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for over a decade. Her second novel Circe was a number one international bestseller and shortlisted for the Women's Prize.
Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021, Piranesi is the long-awaited return from the author of the multi-million copy bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has. In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want?
Susanna Clarke is the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Piranesi. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. It won British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award in 2005. An instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, Piranesi was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, the Hugo Award and winner of the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction.
In A Long Petal Of The Sea, Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life – and the fate of his country – forever changed. Together with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser, he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile.
Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of twenty-four bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Daughter of Fortune and City of the Beasts. A Chilean immigrant herself, Allende devotes much of her time to human rights causes and in 1996 founded the Isabel Allende Foundation.
A hugely anticipated, compulsive thriller from the brilliant, brazen, daring, sexy mind of the writer behind Three Women, the book that changed how we think about desire. Animal opens with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head of unrequited love and becomes a road trip to California, centering on a woman who is driven to extremes by the violence of her past.
Lisa Taddeo is the author of Three Women, which she is currently adapting for a television series with Showtime. Three Women was both a Sunday Times and a New York Times number one bestseller, the most-picked book of the year in the UK in 2019, the British Book Awards Narrative Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year. She lives with her husband and daughter in New England.
Patricia Lockwood, author of the exceptional memoir Priestdaddy, brings us her first novel, no one is talking about this, a book for our times on living intensely online and offline.
A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet – or what she terms ‘the portal’. Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Who are we serving? Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die? Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: 'Something has gone wrong,' and 'How soon can you get here?' As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.
Patricia Lockwood was born in a trailer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. She is the author of two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, and the astounding memoir Priestdaddy. Priestdaddy was chosen fifteen times as a book of the year and was widely celebrated. Lockwood’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the New Republic and the London Review of Books, where she is a contributing editor.
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